This week we took some time to catch up with a guy we've been wanting to talk to since fall. Senior boys basketball player Josh Dishman is a star player on both the soccer team and boys basketball team. He was identified as a leader by both of his coaches, Doug Landis (soccer) and Mike Young (basketball).
Dishman is getting ready to wrap up his senior year, but not before he goes after his ultimate goal: a PAC-10 Championship in basketball.
Patch Editor Kevin Haslam and Dishman chatted about Dishman's athletics career, college and that coveted championship title in this week's Q&A.
LRSC Patch: So, you play both soccer and basketball and are good at both of those sports. Could you talk about your progress through the years in them and how far you've come in each of them?
Josh Dishman: Well, for soccer, it's different than basketball, because in ninth grade, you're already on the high school team. For basketball, ninth grade is a team by itself. For soccer I was [junior varsity Most Valuable Player] in ninth grade.
The next year, I was one of the first men off the bench on varsity for soccer. In basketball, I was on J.V. but one of our backup point guards quit. I got moved to varsity for the majority of the season. I started for teams in 11th and 12th grade.
Patch: What's it like to have that responsibility weighing in on you at such a young age in both of those sports?
Dishman: I don't mind it. Throughout the years, I've been trying to be a leader throughout travel, soccer and basketball. It wasn't anything new to me. Just got to keep leading the people. Once you get used to the transition of playing high school sports, it's not much different than anything else.
Patch: Are you looking at colleges right now?
Dishman: I'm looking at McDaniel College and Albright College for basketball. I'm leaning toward McDaniel.
Patch: So, your soccer career is essentially over?
Dishman: Yeah. I had a good run. I played since I was four or five. I liked soccer.
Patch: You said you tried to be a leader through the years. What would you say distinguishes you? What qualities do you possess that make you a leader?
Dishman: Well, some people don't know how to talk to people. Sometimes they scream. You've got to be reasonable. I've known these guys for years. So, we have a good connection. I like leading the people and telling them where to go in not a mean or bossy way.
Patch: You guys made it into the Final Four again. Congratulations. You've got one more shot your senior year to get that PAC-10 title. Can you talk about the long road to getting that victory this year?
Dishman: For three out of four years we've been there. We haven't won it any of these years. So, we really want this. This is our final year. If we can't get it this year, it's going to be a huge blow. It's going to hit our confidence pretty bad. We really want this.
Patch: What would you say overall was the best basketball game you've ever played?
Dishman: When I was back in ninth grade. We went and played Pennwood. It was a crazy gym. It was really small, but there were a lot of fans there. We went into overtime with them. I had 25 points and hit the shot to win it. It wasn't at the buzzer but it was for the win. That was one of my best games ever.
Patch: On the other side of things, what was a game in your career you didn't play so well and took some things out of it to learn from?
Dishman: Definitely my first game against Methacton this year. They were keying on me. They had their best defender on me. They held me to three points. I told my team I couldn't let that happen again. So, the second time, I had 18 points. I just wasn't aggressive enough the first game. I was better the second game. You've got to keep trying to attack and exploit what you can.
Patch: We know who Josh Dishman is on the field, on the court. But who is he off the field, off the court?
Dishman: I just like hanging with friends, hanging with my family. I'm just a normal guy. My favorite school subject would have to be the Ancient World this year with Mr. [Doug] Landis, who's my soccer coach. It's a fun class. You get a lot of education out of it. I like playing basketball a lot off the court throughout the offseason and having fun as much as I can.
Patch: Looking into the future, have you thought about a major or a course of study for college?
Dishman: Yeah. I'm going to major in communications and multimedia and film. I'd like to maybe get an internship with television or radio and help with editing and maybe get on T.V. I took broadcast last year. I couldn't get into Major 2, because I had too many sports and not enough time. But, I want to pursue that because it's fun for me and a good time.
Patch: Yeah. It's pretty good with the amount of equipment this school has and the classes they provide. So, what's that like for you? Growing up in a community that gives you so many tools to use to improve your studies?
Dishman: It always helps. Just having more technology. It helps prepare you for the future. You're going to have to deal with that stuff. And if you have it in high school, you're going to be ready at the next level.
Patch: Looking forward to the rest of your senior year, what are some of your major goals before you graduate?
Dishman: Win the PAC-10. That's definitely up there. Stay up on my school work until about the end of the year. Just enjoy it, because I'm not going to be able to see these guys a lot when I got to college. So, just enjoy my friends to the end.
Patch: On the other side of things, what about your school career? What are some of your favorite memories?
Dishman: You've got to balance out in school - being social but also getting on your school work. I've been an honor roll student through the years. Once you get your school work done, there's going to be time to be a social guy and hang out with friends. So, if you can get an equal balance between the two, it should be fine.
Patch: Last one. If you could go back to your freshman year and talk to yourself - give yourself some tips on how to become the athlete you are today - what would you say to yourself?
Dishman: Just stay aggressive on the court and make sure you play smart. I probably should have hit the weight room more than I did.
Photo courtesy of Bruce Good. For more photos, check out www.PopPopGood.com.